Big box vs. boutique

boxesDoes bigger mean better? Sometimes, but sometimes not.

Every shopper knows there are times when you can’t find exactly what you want in a larger chain store, despite their rows upon rows of identical merchandise. Unique, one-of-a-kind items often are found only in smaller boutiques.

That philosophy doesn’t apply only to material goods — it can apply when you’re shopping around for a disability representative as well. Our law firm doesn’t have a dozen associates and floors of cubicles, but we do have a handful of attorneys and staff members who have chosen to concentrate solely on Social Security Disability and Veterans Disability. Rather than knowing only a little about every area of law, we all know a lot about those particular specialties.

Ever been to a big box store, only to discover there wasn’t a salesperson in sight? We pride ourselves on our accessibility. When you first come in for an appointment, you will meet face to face with an attorney, not someone who simply records your  information without offering any guidance. When you make followup telephone calls regarding your claim, there’s a good chance the first person you speak with will be able to answer your question and if not, will be able to quickly find the co-worker who can. You won’t be passed on to a half-dozen employees before your issue is resolved.

Another way to appreciate what we do is to consider your taste buds. Mass-produced food is made via an assembly-line process, where burgers always look and taste exactly the same. True flavor only comes out when food is made to order. We can tailor our handling of your disability claim to your specific needs and conditions, whether it be asking your doctor to complete a form related to your health problems or knowing what questions to ask about how your health affects your daily life. We have real conversations with our clients. You aren’t just a claim number to us!

Because we limit our practice to Northwest Indiana and Chicago and its suburbs, we aren’t stretched too thin and have time to devote to thorough preparation of your case.  Many people think that hiring a national disability company means retaining an attorney, but that isn’t necessarily true. Disability reps aren’t required to be attorneys.  Another thing to consider is that some law firms with national practices farm out hearings to attorneys near the client’s local office. Wouldn’t it be better to have the same firm represent you all the way through?

In fact, a New York Disability blogger recently mentioned the Dec. 19 bankruptcy filing of Binder & Binder, a national disability advocacy firm, as an example of why smaller is better. That company began as a small law practice but grew to mega-size, switching from attorneys to non-attorney advocates. In 2010, the founders sold a large stake of the company to a private-equity firm, and now the company reportedly plans to lay off more than half its staff and shrink its caseload to less than a third of what it is now.

So when you’re looking for someone to represent you in you Social Security or Veterans Disability claim, think about the difference between “big box” and “boutique.” You may find that thinking small is the right approach for you.